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Monday, September 28, 2009

Eastview Parent Weekly, September 28-October 3

Dear Parents,

October is right around the corner and it’s going to be a busy one...

  • October 10, 9-11am, Student Ministry Team Meeting @ Eastview.
    • If you’d like to be part of the conversation, please let me know.
  • October 14, @ middle school youth group
    • We’ll be taking our middle school youth group down to Aid To Women for our meeting time. Because of travel time, please have all middle school students at Eastview by 6pm. We’ll eat and have our group time there at Aid to Women.
  • October 17, 10-11:30am (at the latest)
    • Informational meeting for all students in grades 8-12 interested in our 2010 Mexico Mission Trip. If your student is in grades 8-12, and they are remotely interested in this trip, this meeting is mandatory.
  • October 18- Permission/Registration Slips for high school students going to Ozark Christian College in November
    • Permission slips and $30 deposit due
    • Trip dates are November 5-8
    • Total trip cost is $75/student.
    • Visit parent website to download permission slip
  • October 30-31, Lock-in UPDATE
    • This originally was a lock-in, but is in the process of being changed to an off-site retreat. We’re planning on going to North East Iowa Christian Service Camp, located in Bristow, IA. This retreat will be for both middle school and high school students. Cost will simply be $10/student to help with food. There will be more details coming on Wednesday.
  • November 6-8, Trip to Ozark Christian College for high school students
  • November 8, NO high school youth group that evening

As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ESM recap

We've had a great week of events here at Eastview. All three weeks now we've had a few new faces at both our Sunday and Wednesday night programs. I think the kids love the fact that we have enough adults to actually minister to and spend time with them. We've seen a lot less fighting between the kids for the attention of the small group leaders. There is also a ton less chaos. Each of the leaders has opportunity to intentionally spend time with the kids in their groups. The discussion and lesson times have seemed more meaningful and there is more discussion.

In preparation for our October ministry team meeting (October 10, 9-11am), I'll begin to examine these weekly meetings in light of last week's "Environmental Architecture" post. Question 5 is "Who is responsible for quality control?" . Also to be addressed at that meeting will be, "Where do we see ESM one year from now? Five years from now? Where Does God want us to be?"

Have some answers to those questions? I'd love to hear them! Drop an email to jmulholland@eastview.net or simply respond to this post.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Environmental Achitecture

Over the past month or so, Bill Holley (our preaching minister) and I have been reading the book Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging by Mark Waltz. We read a chapter, and then meet weekly to discuss its implications for ministry here at Eastview. The chapter we'll be discussing tomorrow morning is chapter 5, "Be an Environmental Architect". In it, Mark has 5 questions to ask when creating an environment. I thought I'd use the space here this week to answer those 5 questions about our 2 weekly gatherings...Sunday School and Youth Group.

Question 1- What's the Purpose of This Environment?
  • The purpose of Sunday School (Sunday mornings 8:45-945) is to teach the Bible in an engaging way. The material used is FaithWeaver which is a comprehensive 3-year curriculum. In those 3 years, we'll review the major stories of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
  • The purpose of Youth Group (Sunday nights for high school and Wednesday nights for middle school) is to discuss topics of immediate relevance to our students, to communicate that God loves them and want to be in a relationship with them, and to meet our students where they are. We want to provide a "safe" place for them to bring their questions and their friends.
Question 2: Who Will Use This Environment?
  • The spaces used are for our students. We'll use sofas, couches, journaling (writing, coloring, drawing), media, whatever we can to hit the purposes above.
  • Not everyone present is at the same place in a "spiritually mature" sense, in fact, many of those who come are not Christians.
Question 3: What Do We Want People to Experience?
  • The physical space is there to communicate "home" (sofas, chairs). The journals are meant to communicate "privacy". The small groups are meant to communicate intimacy and honesty.
  • Youth group nights are there to encourage conversation, story-telling, questions and dialogue. We meet to learn from scripture and our collective experience.
  • In Sunday school, while there is time for dialogue, primarily our students are there to hear and listen. This is a teaching time.
Question 4: What Do We Want People to Leave With?
  • Sunday School: An understanding of Scripture, what it says, what it means and how they can apply it.
  • Youth Group: Students are loved by God and adults. They've been heard, encouraged and challenged. They've heard a spiritual truth, and possibly, they'll leave with a question to ponder all week long.
Question 5: Who's Responsible for Quality Control?
  • Our ministry team meets monthly (most of the time) to discuss where things are at.
Beginning in October, all of our event planning will walk through this process...lock-ins, retreats, trips, etc. The first 4 questions, with answers, will appear on the registration forms for our events.